Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Regrettes - Not Just Another Pretty Face - "A Living Human Girl" Video and Full Set At SXSW

Lydia Night has basically kicked ass her entire life. She has been playing guitar since she was six years old and formed her first band at 7. There are videos of her at (I would guess) around 8 performing acoustic songs at Pappy and Harriet's. At 11 she was a member of the Dead Man's Bones (Ryan Gosling and Zach Shields) choir and also started a two piece outfit called Pretty Little Demons that played at Lollapalooza, SXSW and other festivals and now at 15 years her new garage pop band, The Regrettes  (that has been signed to Warner Bros. Records) just released their first Official Video for "A Living Human Girl" starring Lydia's best friend Alithea Tuttle (pictured above).

When I first listened to "A Living Human Girl" I was turned off by the cheekly lyrics. It is charming, yes, it is kind of comic and it is slick but I am one of those people who don't gravitate to music to laugh or smile because something is witty. While the track is done well, is drenched in fun and has a positive message, I couldn't find anything that sonically engaging here. It sounded like rock for grammar school kids or something you would hear on a School of Rock event. I later found out that the rest of The Regrettes all met at School of Rock (not that there is anything wrong with this institution at all). But knowing that record companies always seem to release the song that has a hook (sometimes over musical substance) I delved deeper and I am glad I did.

I found a video of The Regrettes playing a full set at SXSW and they are, well, pretty damn great and their songs don't just float in the shallow pool of garage pop. Some of their stuff runs deeper and they can play and perform. First and foremost, Lydia is confident and engaging in her guitar playing and singing. Maxx Morando at 17 is a killer drummer and, in fact, he reminds me a bit of Clem Burke. Genessa Gariano (19) plays some very sweet licks throughout the set although you do not get this sense on "A Living Human Girl" and 18 year old Sage Nicole composes perfect bass bottom lines. The SXSW set impressed me because the band kind of come off (at first) as a kind of Aquadolls meets Shannon and the Clams with a little hint of Bleach and while there is nothing wrong with that those bands kind of occupy their respective places just fine. Along 1l.45 minutes in, the Regrettes perform a song that has a different vibe. Love the melodies and tone, the guitar break is so good and it doesn't follow that garage / punkpop / surf rock thing. It just feels like mid tempo rock and the emotional underbelly is there too. Great stuff.

The Regrettes is very much Lydia's band. She is a singer songwriter and some of the blogging verbiage around this band use the word project. This band might be a stepping stone for her. I could see her going the route of a Taylor Swift (whose music I personally abhor) but I hope she veers less pop. In any event, Lydia will undoubtedly have a long career ahead of her in whatever capacity she chooses.

Check out The Regrettes new video and then check them out at SXSW live too.
By the way, the amazing bnd photo is by Jen Rosenstein and from a Noisey piece on the band which you can check out here.

Robb Donker

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